TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — When signing a bill handling immigration restrictions and response, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a petition to impanel a grand jury focused on illegal immigration and human smuggling. The Florida Supreme Court has now granted that request.
At the time in Pensacola, DeSantis described the statewide grand jury as being needed to “examine international human smuggling networks that bring illegal aliens across the southern border and ultimately to states like Florida.”
The governor said the jury would work on investigating how the international smuggling networks mentioned violated Florida law, and how the organizations smuggled minors into the United States illegally over the southern border.
In the Supreme Court approval order to impanel a statewide grand jury, Florida’s Justices said the grand jury would “investigate crime, return indictments, make presentments, and otherwise perform all functions of a grand jury” for violation of state statutes involving the following “offenses.”
- Bribery, Burglary, Carjacking, Home invasion robbery, Criminal usury, Extortion, Gambling, Kidnapping, Larceny, Murder, Prostitution, Perjury, Robbery
- Crimes involving narcotics or other dangerous drugs
- Violation of the Florida Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act
- Violations of the Florida Anti-Fencing Act
- Violations of the Florida Antitrust Act of 1980
- Violations of the provisions of chapter 815, which includes Computer-Related crimes
- Crimes involving or resulting in fraud or deceit
- Violations of Florida Statutes relating to computer pornography, child exploitation prevention, or related offenses where crime is facilitated by use of or connection to the Internet, or devices capable of electronic data storage or transmission
- Violation of Part I of F.S. Chapter 499
- Violation of Chapter 787
- Criminal Violation of F.S. 409.920 or 409.9201
- Violation of the Florida Money Laundering Act,
- Violation of the Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act,
- Any attempts at solicitation, or conspiracy to commit any of the violations “enumerated” 13 violations listed in the order to impanel a jury.
The announcement of the petition accompanied the governor signing Senate Bill 1808 into law, which is intended to address illegal immigration and border security threats, according to the DeSantis administration.
“By fulfilling our request to impanel a grand jury, the Florida Supreme Court has enabled the State of Florida to take the next step in fighting back against Biden’s disastrous border policies,” Larry Keefe, Senior Advisor to the Governor for Public Safety said on behalf of the governor’s office. “This grand jury will allow us to gather critical information on the harmful consequences of illegal immigration on our state, including the prevalence of human trafficking and smuggling and the flow of illicit drugs like fentanyl within our borders.”